The Bureau of Labor Statistics found that 50% of small businesses fail within the first four years of existence. Moreover, Forbes discovered earlier in 2013 that only two to three businesses out of ten will survive fifteen or more years.
If you want to keep your brand growing, you’ll need to consider scaling as your next step. Scaling is an art, like most crucial business steps. If you scale too soon or too slow, you can end up losing sales. As a marketer, I know that scaling a business, whether brick and mortar or online, is a big deal. You’re faced with two questions:
- Am I ready to scale my online business?
- And if so, what’s the best way to scale my online business?
Whether or not you know the answer to these questions, this article is sure to be a big help. I’ll be showing you how to decide if you’re ready to scale and how to scale your online store with these nine proven marketing and branding tips.
Let’s dive in.
Are You Ready to Scale Your Business
If you’re still stuck on the first question I asked in the introduction, “Am I ready to scale my online business?” it really boils down to these two factors: capability and capacity.
Brands that are ready to scale usually meet two or more of these requirements to scale:
- Strong cash flow and repeatable sales: You’ve been getting consistent sales, and your customer base is growing. The demand for your product and service is consistent. You can meet your current expenses.
- You’re approached with more business opportunities: Along with a steady amount of sales, you’ll be getting approached by brands or influencers for business partnerships and opportunities. This means that not only are customers willing to buy from you, but others see this as well.
- Your business is in a position to grow: Your business needs more employees, tools, and features as it demands more of you to grow. Sometimes your company is literally showing us that we need to scale rather than answering the question ourselves. For example, you have a higher customer service request and need more chat support.
1. Evaluate Your Data & Tools for Areas of Improvement
Before you start scaling and putting things into effect, take a look at the
Start by doing an S.W.OT analysis on the tools you have and see which tools you can take with you and which you’ll need to replace to help you reach your scaling goals.
SWOT stands for strength, weakness, opportunities, and threats. For example, this can help you understand if you need to upgrade your email marketing tool or find a new email marketing tool. Do this SWOT analysis for each of your department’s tech and software, so you’re improving all areas of your online store.
I know that finding the right tools for your business and online store can be hard, so I compiled a list of our “best tools” guides you can easily go through below:
- 150 Best Shopify Apps (Paid & Free) To Increase Sales for 2021
- 9 Must-Have Marketing Tools Business Owners Need for 2021
- 10 Expert Conversion Rate Optimization Tools You Should Be Using
- 77 Tremendous Tools to Make You a Content Marketing Superstar
- 20 Best Must-Have Slack Apps (Paid & Free)
2. Up Your Social Media Marketing Game
One of the most overlooked staples of your marketing efforts is social media presence. Brands think that as they grow, it will eventually grow with them without putting much work into their social media. But that’s not the case. When you’re scaling an online store, you’ll also have to up your social media marketing efforts because:
- You’ll need to widen your reach so that you can attract more potential customers.
- Solidify your social media presence amongst your competitors.
- Social media marketing is apart of your omnichannel marketing (which we’ll talk about later)
- You can serve and nurture your die-hard fans and customers who are on social media.
- You can monitor and change the conversation being said about you on social media with social listening and monitoring.
When brands like Barkbox, GymShark, and Glossier started scaling their business, their social media marketing increased—not decreased. Like it or not 54% of people browsing on social media use the platform to research products they intend on purchasing, so if you’re slacking, you’re missing out on being found in their search or popping up on their feed.
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Tips for Using Social Media Marketing to Scale
Here are some top-tier tips you should know when using social media to help scale your business:
Start using more business features: Social media platforms like Facebook, Pinterest, and Instagram allow you to have shopping and business features. These make it easier for your followers to access your products and shop directly on your profile without having to leave to click on your website link.
You can use Shoppable tags so that customers can learn more about your products, and you can also easily partner with influencers and track your brand partnership engagement, and so much more.
Start creating and publishing content consistently: Social media users are spoiled rotten when it comes to content, and like it or not, you’ll have to stay active in their feed and beat the algorithm you’ll need to be consistent in posting. When you post once in a blue moon or stop posting according to schedule, your engagement starts to flatline.
Since there are tons of other brands competing for your follower’s attention, you can be easily forgotten, so will your products. To prevent that create a social media strategy and stick to it. You can also use tools like Buffer and Hootsuite to schedule your content in advance with auto-posting, so you don’t have to be glued to your phone every day when you scale your online store.
Invest more in social media ads: Expand your reach and increase sales with social media ads. Let’s not forget that platforms like Facebook and Instagram are pay to play platforms. In order for your business to grow, you’ll have to push more paid content. Facebook has outrightly said on multiple occasions that it deliberately stunts organic growth for brands, so they have to rely on paid ads and features to grow.
If you need more help with social media marketing for your online store, here are some helpful guides we created to do just that and then some:
- How to Make a Social Media Checklist (Free Template)
- 45 Best Brands on Social Media (Based on Niche) & What We Learned From Them
- 5 Effortless Tips to Create a Hashtag strategy for Social Media
- 5 Expert Ways to Increase Your Social Media ROI
3. Update & Improve Your Online Store’s Website
As you scale, you’ll need a website that can handle the new demands, traffic, and shoppers that will come with your growth. This means optimizing your website. For example, you’ll notice that the server or website provider you’ve been using might need an upgrade. Maybe the layout you loved from the beginning might be limiting how your new wave of customers are shopping now.
When your updating and improving your online store’s website for scaling, here’s a quick checklist of things you should do or have on hand:
- Always optimize your website for mobile: No matter how much you scale your business or optimize your website, if it’s not mobile-friendly, you’ll be missing out on much-needed sales. By 2021, mobile eCommerce sales are expected to account for 54% of total eCommerce sales.
- Ensure that your loading speed is fast: Think with Google found that sites that load in five seconds (compared to those that load in 19) see 70% longer average sessions. So ensure that whatever new elements, apps, or integrations don’t affect your website’s load time.
- Move or Upgrade your website: When you started your online store, you probably didn’t realize how fast you would have to scale. Now that it’s here, you’ll either have to choose, upgrade your website based on the website builder you’ve used. For example, Shopify has Shopify Plus for eCommerce stores that need more space, faster transactions, and enterprise software to handle the massive traffic coming and going to the store.
Your next option might also be to move your store entirely to a new website builder or platform. If you’re using a website builder like Shopify but you’d prefer another online platform, feel free to check out 7 Best Shopify Alternatives For Your Next eCommerce Store
4. Ask Your Customer How You Can Improve
The one person who will be using your online store as much as you is your customer. Why not ask them what you can do to improve your website as you scale your online store. BigCommerce found that 43% of U.S. customers report spending more on brands that are known to listen to their customers.
Asking your customers how you can better improve your online store is also a form of customer service or satisfaction. The truth be told, customer service means a lot; 80% of people claim they’ll quit doing business with a company after a poor customer service experience.
You’re also not limited to sending out a traditional survey to customers to get feedback. You can use social media, like Instagram stories or posts, email marketing, or reward customers who provide reviews for your products or online store.
- 6 Creative Survey Examples to Help Boost Your Engagement
- How to Use a Quiz Funnel to Grow Your Email List
5. Up Your Email Marketing Efforts
Don’t forget to scale your email marketing, as well. This could mean investing in a more integrated email marketing tool. After all, around 59% of customers say marketing emails influence their purchase decisions.
The first step would be to take a look at your customer’s shopping behavior and see where you can scale your email marketing efforts around it. From there, create email marketing campaigns triggered by actions, or lack thereof, to boost open rates and sales.
Wishpond used email marketing to help our client SHOC make over $45,000 in sales. With Wishpond, you can create, manage, monitor, and automate your emails along with segmentation and personalization features to fit your email marketing needs.
Ready to start automating your marketing?
Book a free call to learn how our team of marketing experts can help you create high converting email marketing today.
6. Track Every Single Conversion Possible
Tracking conversion on every single platform seems like a tedious task, but it pays off in the long run. When you have no idea where or how to track your data, you won’t be able to track ahead of time changes you’ll need to make to improve your online store as you scale.
One way to track all your conversions merely is by using tools like Google Analytics. Google Analytics helps your entire team to know what’s going on with your eCommerce store on the backend. You can use your Google Analytics reports to learn about your website traffic sources. Google Analytics can show you detailed reports on:
- Organic Traffic
- Referral Traffic
- Social Traffic
- Direct Traffic
- Email Traffic
The data you have stored here can be used to guide you as you scale your online store to see what’s working and what’s not, as well as the best approach to using tech to help you scale.
For more on to use Google Analytics for your online store, check out these 9 Amazing Ways to Use Google Analytics for E-Commerce
7. Build Deeper Connections with Brand Advocates
Around 55% of people will search online for reviews and recommendations before making a purchase, with 47% visiting the company website, 26% checking out the physical store, and 23% of people talking with friends and family.
Brand advocates are people who rave about your products/services on or offline. They advocate for your brand. They refer you to friends and family, share reviews, and user-generated content to boost sales. The more you invest in your brand advocate, the easier it is for them to advocate, create content, and share your brand with others.
Start by finding and using UGC (user-generated content) to help build your brand advocate’s confidence that you acknowledge and value them. Here’s a helpful video from Wishpond’s YouTube channel to get you started.
8. Continue to Improve Your Site’s SEO
Improving your SEO will be a crucial factor in solidifying your online presence as you scale your online store.
Leaving out SEO in your growth plan will only leave you losing ranks on search engines, allowing your competitors to outdo you. Safari Digital found that
82% of people who implemented an SEO strategy found it to be effective
Being #1 on Google drives 32.5% of the traffic to your website and that 32.5% only decreases the further down you are in the ranking. We haven’t even spoken about how much traffic links on the second pages of Google received, which is far less than you’d expect.
You can use these Ecommerce SEO Checklist to get started to help you take an inside look at how you can improve and scale your SEO alone with your store.
9. Invest in Getting Help from Marketing Experts
As great as these tips are, without the right expert to help you get the ball rolling, you might feel overwhelmed trying to DIY your own marketing and scaling tactics. Scaling your online store means you now have more on your plate than ever. You’ll need help working towards the results you need to boost your online conversion rates.
If you can’t do it alone, why not hire marketing experts to help you. We provide a dedicated marketing executive that will work with you to ensure your campaign is a success. Get unparalleled support 24/7 with access to designers, ads specialists, content writers, and more.
Scaling your online store is a new and exciting adventure. With the right tools and techniques, you can begin to see your business flourish.
A word to the wise: just because you can scale your business doesn’t ensure it’s a success. Scaling your online store is taking your business to unchartered waters. Only take on as much risk as possible and be prepared for what comes after you start implementing your scaling techniques.
If you still need a bit of inspiration, here are some inspiring eCommerce stories to give you an extra push:
- 7 Shopify Success Stories That Will Inspire You to Make Your Own
- Case Study: How SHOC Made Over $45,000 in Sales with Wishpond
- Case Study: How Retyche Gain Over $100,000 in Sales with a Shopping Spree Giveaway